November 17, 2022

Bali’s G20 delivers promising outcomes as COP27 enters final days

Denpasar, Indonesia – As the UN climate talks come to its final days in Egypt, the world’s wealthiest countries gathered in Bali, Indonesia, and issued their leaders’ declaration at the G20. The communiqué reiterated the commitment to the target of limiting global heating to 1.5 degrees celsius, one of the most important points of the Paris Agreement.

The G20 leaders declaration released yesterday also supported the maintenance of agreements under the Glasgow pact from COP26, in 2021. This outcome is more than “climate leaders” who gathered in Egypt can say, as negotiators battle watered down text and lobbying from the fossil fuel industry. 

The G20 declaration recognises that in order to meet the 2030 global climate goals, we must rapidly reduce fossil fuel use. This language is far more than most expected heading into Bali, and a positive boost as we head into the COP27 endgame.

The G20 also saw the announcement of a Just Energy Transition Partnership deal for Indonesia, a package that will be primarily funded by the United States and Japan in order to accelerate Indonesia’s transition away from fossil fuels. 

While the partnership, the world’s largest climate finance package in history, is surely a positive step, there remain questions around how principles like transparency, justice, and accountability will be operationalized through processes and mechanisms as part of the deal.

Civil society organizations had previously expressed concern that the deal would include a push for the expansion of fossil gas in Indonesia. Thankfully, the deal specifically prohibits the money being spent on fossil gas.

While the G20 result is hopeful, especially from Sharm el Sheikh, the event was not without its flaws. Indonesian civil society and international organizations were prevented from organizing events and activities around the summit, impeding on public participation and democratic spaces for discussion.

The reaffirmation of 1.5C degree targets must also be backed up by more than just words. Transformative, meaningful action on behalf of the world’s 20 richest countries is absolutely crucial,  including the strengthening of National Domestic Contributions (NDCs), phasing out of coal, oil, and gas, rapid scaling and deployment of renewable energy generation, and the phasing out of fossil fuel subsidies.

Masayoshi Iyoda, Japan Communications Coordinator, says:

“If G20 leaders can recognise that wealthy and high-emitting nations must play their part in implementing the Glasgow Climate Pact, why can’t those at the world’s largest climate talks in COP27 do the same? Off the back of this G20 declaration, we want to see countries at COP27 strengthening NDCs to align with 1.5°C, phasing out fossil fuels including coal, oil and gas, rapidly scaling up the deployment of renewable energy generation and energy efficiency measures, and adding a credible, ambitious timeline on the COP26 commitment to phase out of fossil fuel subsidies.”

Cansin Leylim, Global Campaigns Associate Director, says:

“The G20 summit communiqué is a positive signal from the world’s most powerful nations that the need to remain committed to the 1.5C target should not be at stake at any negotiating table. As we move towards the end of COP27, the recognition that achieving the 2030 global climate targets means a rapid, just and equitable phase out of all fossil fuel use reinforces what the civil society movement and science have been calling for decades. We need political will, we need money and we need urgency. We’ve seen a lot of climate finance pledges being made, but not so many being delivered. Wealthy countries must provide the necessary resources to help developing countries make an accelerated just transition to clean energy sources, as well as to deal with the growing impacts of climate change. World leaders must honor and uphold what was agreed in the Glasgow Pact and provide a clear roadmap on how to implement the goals of the Paris Agreement. Anything less is a major setback and a stamp of failure for COP27.”

Firdaus Cahyadi, Indonesia Team lead, says:

“The 11th point of the Bali Declaration of the G20 states that the G20 leaders have agreed to try to jointly address the issues of climate change and the energy crisis. The 12th point in the Bali declaration states that the G20 leaders made the Bali Compact, and the Bali Energy Transition Roadmap, a guideline for solving the energy crisis. In general, 350 Indonesia welcomes the Bali Declaration. The declaration demonstrated that the G20 Summit recognized the significance of the climate crisis and energy transition. However, we have doubts that the declaration will be good in practice because the energy transition is not accompanied by the opening of democratic space for the public to express their opinions and participate in the transition.”